• 2020
    2020 was a time of upheaval and change for most people, and I am no different. My surroundings and lifestyle shifted, and along with it, my perspective. Where once I had sought extremes in my life, I morphed into someone who embraced quieter joys. During the pandemic, I took long walks to settle my rattled nerves and quell the ever-growing anxiety in my belly and head. These walks in the woods and along the shores of Lake Champlain reignited my forgotten love for and appreciation of the Vermont landscape. The beauty of the Green Mountains slowly pervaded my creative practice, and by year’s end I was almost exclusively exploring the subtle, fluid nature of the environment around me.

    While I’m certainly looking forward to our world returning to something closer to normal, I hope that we can all recognize the value of lessons learned through simpler living. In the meantime, follow me and my daily watercolor posts on Instagram:
    https://www.instagram.com/kschaefer4030/.

    Artist statement
    As we seek ways to distinguish ourselves in the age of discrete, pre-defined data elements, we rely on labels. “Creative,” “analytical,” “organized,” “spontaneous.” Right brain vs left brain thinkers. Although artists are usually classified as the former, I’ve never felt like I fit that description. In fact, I’ve never felt like I fit any description or label.

    To me, painting is simply my medicine for modern life. I’ve worked in information technology for decades as a writer, and my artistic practice allows me to exercise right brain muscles after relying on my left brain all day long. After job responsibilities, home and family duties, and the growing stress of simply watching the news, there is nothing that provides more peace than painting. It’s my hope that my work communicates that same sense of peace back to the viewer.

    I like to think of paintings as historical documents, and the more history I can add to the surface of a panel, the more interesting the work becomes. I begin with simple sketches, and then I revise, over and over, and follow where the materials lead me. I focus mainly on figurative pieces, and I prefer subjects that lean toward the ubiquitous; regular people of all shapes and sizes, expressing the same universal emotions we navigate every day: joy, sadness, worry, love.

    While I mainly work with oil paint on wood, I struggle with the potential impact of these materials on the environment. This concern has lead me to rethink the surfaces I paint on, and I find myself using architectural salvage instead of mass produced panels. I’ve also begun experimenting with watercolors, though they’ll never match the textural pleasure that oils bring me.

    Education
    BA, English, Union College 1991
    MFA, Interdisciplinary Art, Goddard College 2011

    Past
    November 2019: Bristol Cliffs Cafe, Bristol, VT.
    Summer 2019: Member show, Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT.
    May 2018: Bristol Bakery, Bristol, VT.
    Summer 2017: Member show, Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT.
    November, December 2016: Member show, Studio Place Arts, Barre, VT.
    April 2015: Bristol Bakery, Bristol, VT.
    September 2013: SEABA Art Hop, jury selection.
    Summer 2012: Auction for Hirsch Wellness Network, Pleasant Garden, NC.
    2011: Represented Vermont in the Art in Hand: The United States Project.
    July 2010: Skinny Pancake, Montpelier, VT.
    April 2009: Red Cedar School Auction, Bristol, Vermont.  Custom bookcase donation.
    February 2009: “Chair-ity for Children” benefit auction for Addison County Parent/Child Center.  Custom Adirondack chair donation.
    September 2008: SEABA Art Hop.
    April 2008: Red Cedar School Auction, Bristol, Vermont.  Custom bookcase donation.
    2007: Lazy Pear Art Gallery, 154 Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont.
    September 2006: SEABA Art Hop.
    August - September 2006: The Wine Bar, Burlington, Vermont
    April - May 2006: Smoke Jacks, Burlington, Vermont.